Paul Bealin ... set to ratified as the new manager of the Westmeath senior football team.

Bealin gets the nod to succeed Flanagan as Westmeath boss


By Kieran Galvin

Former Dublin midfield ace Paul Bealin is set to be ratified as the new Westmeath senior football manager at a county board meeting tonight (Wednesday).

An All-Ireland medal winner with the Dubs in 1995, Bealin led Ballyboden St Enda's to Dublin SFC success as player-manager in the same year.

Outgoing manager Pat Flanagan was in the running to continue in the post, but the sub committee charged with selecting a manager has opted for the former Dublin star. 

Flanagan guided Westmeath to promotion to Division 1 of the Allianz Football League earlier this year, but a hugely disappointing championship campaign quickly cast doubt over his future.

Bealin took over the Wexford senior footballers in 2005, and he went on to have a spell as Carlow manager.

He also served as manager of Mullahoran, guiding the Cavan club to two successive senior county finals.

Bealin is currently manager of the Parnell's club in Dublin, but he is now set for a new challenge with the Lake County at inter-county level.

Westmeath face a daunting challenge in Division 1 of the Allianz FL next season.

Several names - including some high-profile candidates - had been linked to the Westmeath post in recent weeks, and the choice of Bealin has come as something of a surprise.

The decision to appoint Bealin comes after a five-man selection committee came up with three eventual candidates for the post. Bealin, Pat Flanagan and another former Dublin star, Jack Sheedy, were in the running with Bealin ultimately winning the race for the job.